2020 is almost behind us and I’m sure you’re just as relieved as I am! No matter how you are leaving 2020, 2021 in upon us and now’s the time to do some reflecting and decide how you can make 2021 a year your team consistently hits revenue targets, is more accountability, and grows professionally.
I’ve put together a check list of actions to take NOW to ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running in 2021.
Here’s an overview:
- Create a formal interview process
Hiring sales reps isn’t like hiring other roles in your company. The sales team is the reason direct deposit happens 2x a month for your other employees, so why wouldn’t hiring top sales talent be a priority? Here are the questions you should be able to answer:
- Does my job description accurately lay out what the expectation are with regards to prospecting, quota attainment, pipeline growth, and past record of success in a way that a candidate can self-select out?
- How will I know after the phone screen if they’re qualified for a F2F behavioral-based interview?
- Do I have behavioral-based interview questions tied to the most important competencies needed to ensure success?
- Am I using an assessment that allows me to gain information that I didn’t get during the F2F interview?
- Am I using the information learned from the assessment to dig deeper during the 2nd F2F interview?
- Am I involving others in the interview process that will help better educated the candidate so they can be an educated consumer of my company and job?
- Am I starting to set expectations during the interview process?
- Do I know how to interview for accountability?
- Set Quota by month/quarter – not just for the year
It’s highly unlikely that your business brings in the same exact amount of revenue each month so that means that your reps quota will differ throughout the year. Make sure your reps understand the “seasonality” of your business and how they should plan their year to mirror your historical trends.
- Make sure each of your reps. understands their sales math from 2020.
- Ave. sales
- Close rate
- Length of sales cycle
- Their personal ICP
- Their most sold persona
- Require your reps to put together a 2021 business plan
- Goals – What do they plan to achieve
- Strategies – Where will the deals come from?
- Actions – What will they commit to?
- Roadblocks – What could stop them from succeeding?
- Head Space – How will they stay positive and motivated
- Professional Development – What new skills do they want to obtain or what skills do they want to improve?
- What professional development will you or the company provide?
What kind of message does it send to your team if you or the company aren’t willing to invest time and money into making them better? Enough said.
- Hold expectation meetings
Clearly lay out (and then put in writing) what you are expecting from each rep individually next year AND what they can expect from you and the company.
- Commit to creating a culture of accountability
Not holding your reps accountable makes your life harder and the rep’s life one filled with ambiguity. The goal is to get to a place where your company’s employees are able to hold each other accountable.
Here are some thoughts to get your started:
- Accountability can’t happen if there is no trust
- Accountability means you’re expected to walk your talk
- There are consequences for not walking your talk
- It’s safe to constructively criticize without fear of retribution
- Leadership is willing to admit mistakes and failures
It’s time to formalize processes that are inconsistent, at best, currently so you can expect more from yourself, your team and the company in 2021. Take the lessons learned in 2020 and use them to fuel your team’s success in the new year.
I’m helping Founders and Sales Leader’s create more formalized sales processes every day. If you’re unsure about how to tackle any of the strategies let me know, I’m happy to help.